Midnight Ohana Q & A
Jason Carter, the real deal
By Paul Honda
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002
HONOLULU—From the tattoos on his arms to the always-present grin on his face, Jason Carter exudes a gentle, but firm attitude about life.
Appreciate each day, each friend, each moment. And when elevating over the rim, slam it with ferocity.
Carter, a junior college transfer, gave fans all the excitement imaginable from a 5-foot-8 (or is it 5-10?) point guard who scored two points in the Midnight Ohana scrimmage.
The fact is, he's somewhere in between 5-8 and 5-10, finished second in the slam dunk contest but drew the biggest oohs with a post-contest jam, and dazzled with his passing skills as much as his hops.
Jason Carter, surrounded by some female friends post-game, made time to talk with RSN.
RSN: You know, you've just started attending UH, and you're starting to build an assortment and collection of groupies.
Jason Carter: (laughter) I don't have any. I just have good friends.
RSN: How do you like Hawaii so far?
JC: Love it.
RSN: Love is a strong word.
JC: Yeah. When I first got out here, I had to get used to it more and more.
RSN: What do you love about it? The food, the weather or the ladies?
JC: Let's just say, the beautiful sights, all right?
RSN: People have heard about you and they may think, you're all street ball, but you showed you've got skills. You bring the ball up effectively, make the right pass—sometimes people aren't ready for your passes yet.
JC: Um, it's just part of my game. Organized and street ball, it's working in together. Sometimes, I get out of hand.
RSN: What do you think Coach Wallace wants out of you? Besides your heart.
JC: Uh, he wants me to use my quickness and speed, you know, on defense and offense. Make good passes, don't make turnovers, you know. Be a part of the team.
RSN: What do you want out of yourself for the team?
JC: I just want the best, you know. I want us to win a lot of games and get to the tournament. I want to win a big ring.
RSN: Do you see yourself more as finding your place and fitting in, or do you think you can start verbally being a leader.
JC: I don't know. Probably gotta work my way in. It's their team and I'm joining their team, so I have to find my spot. Wherever coach wants me to be, I'll just work hard at that spot.
RSN: Do you have names for your dunks?
JC: Not really. I just do ‘em.
RSN: What's your favorite one?
JC: Um, actually, it was the 360 windmill that I missed, the first one.
RSN: Do you have an under-the-leg dunk yet, or is that way too much. That's Vince Carter.
JC: Yeah, that's Vince Carter.
RSN: I'm 5-10 ¾, and you're probably about 5-8 ½.
JC: Uh, 5-9… 5-9!
RSN: One of my friends used to tell me she was 5-11, but she was definitely 5-9. Okay, 5-9.
JC: Uh, 5-9, 5-10.
RSN: Your vertical is 40…
JC: No, my vertical is 34, standing straight up.
JC: Running and jumping is totally different, 40-something.
RSN: What do you miss about home?
JC: Uh, the Shrimp House (laughs).
RSN: Shrimp will kill you.
JC: The Shrimp House!
RSN: Fried foods. You're gonna be a fat man when you get to be about 50.
JC: Um, all right.
RSN: Of course, right now, you have about 2 percent body fat. What would you tell the fans right now?
JC: Keep cheering for the team and support us as much as possible, and we'll play our best for ‘em.
RSN: What do you think about the local media? (Honolulu Star-Bulletin sportswriter Cindy Luis draws closer to JC.) Like the Honolulu Star-Bulletin?
JC: I like the Star-Bulletin. They write good for us.
RSN: Last question. How are you going to handle the fact that you have all these abilities, and you're gonna get more attention, maybe more than some of the other guys on the team who are working just as hard as you?
JC: I'm just gonna be modest, you know, take it everyday. Just be thankful that I got this far. Growing up, I had a lot of attention, but I just gotta keep a level head and not let it carry over to a big head.
RSN: You had the best dunk, though.
JC: Thanks (laughs).